People glean from the internet and social media what is put before them and what search engines give as the top search results.
With the internet of rapidly available information, anyone can rapidly check an official’s or a specialist’s word, work, current and previous statements, and with help of opinion blogs, obtain contrarian information and other viewpoints.
Scientists, physicians, educators, and politicians need to stop shying away from the (long-form) discussions and explanations of difficult concepts and difficult situations. Education has never been just in the classroom. During this pandemic, the entire world has become a classroom.
It is important for the rest of us to understand that, often, our leaders, and experienced specialists in all these different domains of knowledge, are: not sure, don’t know, misspeak, have insufficient information, and make wrong assumptions…all while learning by the hour, and modifying their statements as the pandemic rapidly evolves over the last 2.5 years.
Now, more than ever, scientists, educators, public officials, and media commentators need to explain their thinking, their sourcing of information, the implications and consequences of the stated information and stated policies, as well as how public officials, scientists, physicians and educators plan on adjusting policies and recommendations in the face of newer and better information.
Charles Tadros, M.D.
July 5, 2022
Saint Louis, Missouri